Met Museum Updates Admission Policy: Non-New Yorkers Must Pay

Jan 10, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been an institution of New York City since it opened its doors in 1872. In fact, the city owns the building on Fifth Avenue and supports the museum operationally with millions of dollars every year. Because of its large operating budget — $305 million — paired with generous private donations, the famed museum has been able to operate on a pay-what-you-wish policy since 1970. Now, to fill the woes of a recent budget deficit, the Met will remove its unique admission policy and replace it with a $25 admission for everyone who does not live in the state of New York.

Beginning March 1, the Met will update its admission policy so that all non-New York residents must pay the required $25 fee. An exception is made for students from Connecticut and New Jersey, who will also be able to participate in the pay-what-you-wish policy that’s currently in place. The museum currently has a deficit of about $10 million and hopes to balance its budget by 2020.

Consistently ranked as one of the best art museums in the world, it stands among the prestigious others like the Louvre, MoMA and the Guggenheim, but distinguished itself from the others for its non-mandatory admission fee. In 2016, it was the second most-visited art museum in the world with a record-breaking 7 million visitors compared to 13 years ago when attendance was clocked in at 4.7 million visitors. However, the museum has had a steep decline in the amount of visitors who pay the suggested amount of $25, from 63% to 17% last year.

With the new policy taking place, the museum hopes to raise $6 million to $10 million annually by charging the $25 admission fee. Residents and art-lovers have been up in arms since the announcement of the policy. Jerry Saltz of New York magazine penned a recent article calling out the museum for the policy change and its recent debacle regarding the board director and trustees. In the article, Saltz names wealthy patrons and trustees who knew better than to remove the policy that made the museum stand out from all others.

“Especially since the museum just spent more than $65 million on the space-eating, flow-disrupting, patron-inscribed fountains in the newly renamed Koch Plaza. This single act of philanthropy (Vegas fountains and all) would have covered almost 10 years of this iffy admissions policy. It would have spared the Met an additional self-inflicted wound at a time when it can ill afford it, and the Koch family could instead have had its name on the little admission stickers instead of yet another piece of New York City,” Saltz writes. The policy, he noted, is riddled with loopholes, most notably because the museum will allow people who “forget” their ID entry into the museum — but with a warning that they need to bring proper identification the next time they enter.

Mandatory admission for visitors from outside New York State will match the current suggested admissions prices: $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students. Admission for all children under 12 will remain free and visitors who pay the $25 admission fee will have their tickets honored for three consecutive days and will be able to visit any of the Met’s three locations, including the Met Breuer and the Cloisters.

Feature photo by mura / Getty Images

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.